Spear Street to buy BlackBerry's Canadian real estate assets

TORONTO Mon May 5, 2014 9:40am EDT

Passers-by walk in front of a BlackBerry service centre in Jakarta September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Passers-by walk in front of a BlackBerry service centre in Jakarta September 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Beawiharta

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TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) (BBRY.O) disclosed on Monday that U.S. real estate investment company Spear Street Capital is buying the majority of the embattled technology firm's Canadian real estate holdings for C$305 million ($278 million).

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry announced in March it had reached an agreement to sell the vast majority of its real estate holdings, as part of a plan outlined earlier this year to strengthen its balance sheet. At the time, BlackBerry did not disclose the name of the buyer or terms of the deal.

BlackBerry said on Monday that San Francisco-based Spear Street has waived the due diligence conditions attached to the deal.

The parties expect to complete the sale of properties worth roughly 80 percent of the total deal value later this month, with the sale of the remaining properties being completed during the third calendar quarter of 2014.

Under the terms of the deal, BlackBerry will sell more than 3 million square feet of space along with vacant lands. It plans to lease back a portion of the space and Waterloo will remain its global headquarters.

Spear Street is a boutique real estate investment firm that began operations in 2001. Its investments have included corporate campuses, single assets, portfolios, as well as partial and full development projects.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Paul Simao)

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